India and this trip far exceeded my expectations. If I had to convert friends to do a cycling holiday, this would be the trip to convince them, as it is mostly door-to-door riding with so much to see and experience. Brilliant! This was my 7th cycling trip and was up there with the best. Don't hesitate - book it!
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Everyday offered a moment of inspiration! Overall, the colour and energy of India is so inspirational. The place is so full of life and character. This trips offers one the opportunity to have a sticky beak in the daily life of people in southern India.
I was totally amazed when we started to explore the remote lane ways outside Guruvayor. This day made me realise how much work and thought went into the planning of this trip.
- What did you think of your group leader?
The group leader, Vish, was good and very knowledgeable about history. However, he didn't love cycling as much as the group ;-)
Joseph - the cycle leader was absolutely wonderful. He had a lovely nature and was very interested in the lives of people in the group. At the end, he circulated a comments book which he and the driver (Shibu) keep as a memento of their travels. Usually, you'd think it was hum drum for them but it made me realise that these trips enrich their lives too.
Shibu was an awesome driver and bike mechanic. He was always up bright and early tending to our bikes. His amazing, happy smile was always a great start to our day! Shibu was always helpful and if we asked for anything, he was quicky to help us.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Take a gel seat! The bikes were fantastic but the seats were the slim-lined types which hurt your butt after a day.
Try the semolina pudding with cashews and sultanas (called Kesari). It is served for breakfast at the lodge we stay at Bundapur National Park and totally rocks!! Semolina has never ever tasted so good and it was my stand-out meal.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Exodus describes the trip as relatively 'easy'. I think this should be adjusted. We were a fit bunch but sometimes a flat road in hot conditions makes it tough.
Exodus should include notes on shopping and what collectables are worth buying at different stops eg brassware in Guruvayor. It was quite common to find a gem item in one spot and then not see it again. So a shopping list of 'what to pick up where' would be awesome. My boyfriend and I had just bought a home, so it was great for purchasing homewares especially the antique treasure in Mattancherry, Fort Cochin.